“I Sweat Through My Scalp”: Exercise & Black Hair Care

Tell us if this sounds familiar:

“I want to become more active, but I just don’t know about all that sweating! What would I do with my hair? I sweat through my scalp! …My edges!”

Our hair is our crown and glory. We can’t help it. We’ve been programmed to believe that the style and care of our hair represent our level of success and well-being. We go through hoops and bounds and invest a lot of money into our hair care and there’s nothing wrong with that! It only becomes a problem when it inhibits us from getting the recommended amount of exercise to improve our overall health, and a recent study has found most health care providers don’t even realize it’s a factor.

Researchers surveyed doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in the department of family medicine at Ohio State University, and found that 95% of them sometimes/often discuss exercise with black female patients. However, 76% of them have never included hair care in an exercise discussion and only 34% said they were comfortable discussing hair care in that context, the findings showed.

“As physicians, if we don’t have those specific conversations, we’re not doing everything that we can to